News Item
The Honorable Jay D. Carlson Elected Seventh Judicial District Chief Judge

Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Honorable Jay D. Carlson has been elected to serve as chief judge of Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District by his fellow judges in the district.  He will assume his duties on July 1, 2017, after current Chief Judge John H. Scherer completes his second two-year term in the role.
Judge Carlson has served in the Seventh Judicial District since August 2006. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Carlson spent over 25 years in private practice. He earned his juris doctorate degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul in 1979, and his Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from St. John’s University in Collegeville in 1976. Judge Carlson is chambered in the Becker County Courthouse in Detroit Lakes.
“It is a great honor to have been selected by my colleagues to serve as chief judge,” said Judge Carlson. “This is an important time for Minnesota’s courts, as we are working to utilize technology to increase access to justice and improve our service to the public. I look forward to working with my fellow judges in the Seventh District and across the state to strengthen the high quality of Minnesota’s courts.” 
The Honorable Sarah E. Hennesy was elected to replace Judge Ann Carrott as the next assistant chief judge in the Seventh District.  Judge Hennesy was appointed to the bench in February 2012. She previously served as staff attorney for St. Cloud Area Legal Services from 2006 to 2012.  Her chambers are located in the Mille Lacs County Courthouse in Milaca.
By statute, the chief judge of a judicial district exercises general administrative authority over the courts within the district, including assigning judges to serve in locations throughout the district. The chief judge of each judicial district also serves as a member of the Minnesota Judicial Council, the administrative policy-making authority for the Minnesota Judicial Branch.
Chief judges and assistant chief judges are elected to two-year terms by the judges within the district. No judge may serve as chief judge or assistant chief judge for more than two consecutive two-year terms. New two-year terms begin on July 1.